A BIOGRAPHY OF BRIAN HERBERT - AFRICAN WILDLIFE ARTIST & CONSERVATIONIST
BRIAN HERBERT’S BIOGRAPHY PARAGRAPHS ARE FROM 1949 - 2011
Brian Herbert left Britain with his mother Violet and his brother Michael in 1949 to travel to Africa to meet his father who had gone ahead to Africa in advance of Brian’s mother to start his new job. Brian’s father took the family on a Safari when Brian was a toddler and this was when he first witnessed Kenya’s vast African plains, which were alive with an abundance of wildlife especially the Elephants and Rhino, which have now gone. Brian learnt to speak Kiswahili very quickly at a young age. His father George worked for the British Government in Kenya as a teacher and lecturer in electrical engineering.
Brian would come across skeletons of wild animals in the bush/bundu (e.g skeletons of lizards, crocodiles, birds, fish and all creatures that have a skeleton). This gave him an insight into their anatomy. Animals would play a major part in Brian’s life and his African Wildlife oil paintings and sketches. Brian loved sketching and drawing different species and landscapes as a young boy.
As a very young child growing up in Kenya Brian’s back yard was the bush that extended across open plains, wildlife would criss-cross the open plains and beyond. Brian would walk and run around without shoes in the bush, and would go exploring the rivers in his playground/back yard with all kinds of species he could observe.
On occasions snakes would be present but they would not bother you if you gave them a wide berth. Brian’s family cook told his mother to stand still and asked his mother not to move, the cook had spotted a Puff Adder snake in the house. The cook got hold of his knobkerrie (African fighting stick) and beat the Puff Adders head. Puff Adders are Africa’s most dangerous and deadliest snakes since it is responsible for nearly all fatalities in Africa. Brian’s mother’s cook was a hero by saving Violet Herbert from certain death. If the Puff Adder had bitten Violet she would have lost her life.
Puff Adders have their natural habit of staying dead still when they detect movement thus stepping on one could be fatal. They will strike and bite, most snakes will move away. Brian felt at home and safe with his knowledge of reading signs of dangerous animals and pug mark tracks especially for Lions or other dangerous animals within his local area. Once dangerous fresh animal tracks had been sighted he would seek a safe location, his bush craft tracking skills saved him on many occasions. He played with the local kids and learned many skills of how they survived in the bush.
During the 1950’s Brian witnessed newcomers to Kenya who first thing in the morning failed to check under their vehicles for lions and under the bonnet/hood for snakes. If they had not carried out this simple procedure they could end up in town with a dangerous/poisonous snake, such as the Black Mamba which is an aggressive animal if cornered. It can kill you if you tried to move it, avoid contact at all cost as even a small fang scratch can be fatal, as some new visitors to Africa have died. The black Mamba is the athlete of the bush/bundu and can out run you especially on a grassy hill slope reaching speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour riding the tops of grasses using its 12 to 13 foot length muscles. It can lift half of its body weight in the air thus increasing its speed on the ground. It can move from branch to branch from tree to tree at speed, its venom can kill the largest animals in Africa. Vigilance is the key to survival in the bush, towns and cities where wildlife is present. Across the world there are poisonous snakes and if you live in countries that do have dangerous snakes follow the procedure in this paragraph to stay safe.
Brian was born an artist and with encouragement from his mother Violet Herbert who Brian has dedicated the ‘Violet’s Waterbuck’ print in the website in her memory. Violet loved the wildlife in Kenya some of which would walk around the outside of the house next to Nairobi Game Park in the 1950’s.
His mother Violet Herbert owned a shop in Nairobi Kenya in the 1950’s called Youngs Ltd. She was a wonderful fashion designer and had created her own dress patterns, which she cut out as a template and made the most beautiful wedding dresses and evening gowns.
She had always encouraged Brian as a child to draw, sketch and paint; it was his mother’s artistic talents, commitment, dedication, skills and patience that inspired him to becoming an artist.
His mother was a wonderful dancer and singer and loved the theatre productions she was in. His mother was grace and beauty in motion. Brian would paint his wildlife canvases in front of his mother so she would have the benefit of watching canvases coming alive with landscape and wild animals.
Brian’s late mother Violet was in theatre productions in The National Theatre Nairobi in the 1950’s, she made and designed all the stage customs and made the hats for shows she was in. Brian’s children James, Elaine and Eleanor Herbert have all been in theatre productions at the London Palladium Theatre and other theatres.
James and Elaine have trained at Dance Works where most of the London theatre companies rehearse just off Oxford Street London near Selfridges department store on Oxford street, London W1. Their family lived just off Oxford Circus which crosses Oxford Street.
Brian’s parents would visit friends near the Ngong Hills on weekends west of Nairobi about eleven miles out called Alfee Prige. They lived in a remote wattle forested area, and across the track were Armand and Michaela Denis.
They had cheetah and large dogs in a large natural forest, much like the Prige’s. Armand and Michaela Denis new Brian and his love of wildlife and the bush, both Michaela and Armand were wildlife animal expedition photographers and produced the first documentary films that were shown across the globe. Brian loved their company and their animals, which were just an extension of their home. Brian did miss the visits once they left the area.
Brian attended St George’s primary school in Nairobi, Kenya. The school was built beside Government House/ State House, which had security fences adjoining their school. There was a bush valley north of the playing fields (the bush valley and half of the playing fields are now a housing estate).
One day a pride of lions turned up on the school’ playing fields, the pupils were all kept indoors that day. On the playing field large hawks would swoop out of the sky to steal your packed lunch from your hands or mouth. It was a major problem with their long talons, which can cause injuries to pupils. The pupils from the school were brought up with knowledge of the bush and knew how to avoid dangerous animals.
Some pupils brought their pet animals into class, such as lizards, snakes, mongoose, bush babies etc. They would put them in their school desks. Our school teachers were mainly from Britain and had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
Brian has never forgotten St George’s school’ young school art teacher Ms Fisher. She saw Brian’s natural artistic talent for drawing and painting African Wildlife. She encouraged him to continue his love of painting wildlife subjects and their habitats. Brian would love to contact Ms Fisher, if anyone from St George’s primary school in the fifties knows her please get in touch.
Brian’s parents and family went on a cruise liner the SS Kenya from Mombasa to the United Kingdom via the Suez Canal, a man made canal. This would be for the total circumnavigation of Africa now to be completed which started in 1949 from Britain and finished in 1956. The SS Kenya stopped in Egypt on the 13th May 1956, the day his family visited a town on a day visitor’s visa. By now Nasser the president of Egypt threatened Britain to remove her troops from the canal zone by June 1956 that would only be a couple of weeks away.
War was imminent, the SS Kenya was still in the Red Sea and had not entered the Suez Canal by the 13th May 1956, the SS Kenya entered the Suez Canal and exited into the Mediterranean Sea by cutting through the desert shipping canal therefore Africa would be cut away from the Middle East and Africa would be a giant island.
Why wait for nature to do the job when man has saved the planet millions of years of time when the Earth’s Continents are still on the move. So was politics on the move when the leader of Egypt seized the Suez Canal and the Canal Zone around it with his military. His actions triggered a war with France, Britain and Israel against Egypt. Brian’s parents were relieved the SS Kenya made it through the Suez Canal before the war began, the family returned by aircraft back to Kenya to Eastleigh Airport Nairobi on a propeller driven aircraft.
In 1959 at the age of twelve Brian’s parents decided to take a holiday break, the family left the Equator region and Nairobi Kenya to the Cape of Good Hope by car on bush dirt roads.
They travelled to Namanga on the Kenya Tanganyika now named Tanzania border. During this trip Brian had his first sighting of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the African plains, and the herds of elephants, which were across the Masai plains and all the way down Africa for thousands of miles. The vast herds of elephant are no longer seen in Africa, poached for their ivory for chop sticks and ornaments.
Rhino were common and could be seen running across bush roads or tracks, sometimes with their young off spring calf. The Rhino species has been decimated by poachers. They had their lives totally turned upside down with the arrival of the car and lorry/trucks after the First World War. They could be seen lying injured or dead on gravel roads when hit by vehicles, which were like missiles.
Brian was fourteen years old in 1961 when the rains failed again and a drought hit Kenya, this was a terrible time for the wildlife that were just walking skeletons very close to death, corpses of animals with no flesh on their frail bodies with their skin hides in folds and their bones and ribs protruding through. The grasses of the Masai plains were dry with no moisture content thus of no food value, the rains had failed to materialise, this was the beginning of the end for the weak who started to drop from hunger and thirst.
Brian will never forget that horrible period when walking around the bush seeing such suffering and misery. The dying animals were going through hell, The Nairobi Dam and its waters were only a couple of miles away, of course this was for human consumption. The dam’s river was once the natural feeding and watering location where the banks of the river had green pastures for all the wildlife and the local people.
One could visualise and feel the pain of dying animals what the dinosaurs would have experienced when faced with extinction, which is permanent. Just try for a moment what dying of thirst and hunger must feel like, the answer is hell.
When one reflects on nature and mans interference with it there is a conflict of interest about who owns the water rights? Nairobi was just a depot for the railway works and storage during the laying down of the railway line tracks from Mombasa, the building of Nairobi started in 1896, the rivers were taken over for farming and the wildlife and local tribal people were not taken into account as the rightful land owners. The increasing degradation of land and the loss of grazing pastures and the precipitous drying of water resources for drinking leading to intensifying floods and droughts. Dams were constructed across rivers and closed to wildlife, it’s no wonder the Nairobi Game Park wildlife died and suffered during not just one drought but many.
Once upon a time the wildlife were free to walk and seek out fresh foliage and water from the forest to the north, that was a hundred years ago, once again man has interfered with nature, by erecting fences to the north of Nairobi Game Park in the annual short and long rainy season’s migratory routes were cut off. All due to the last hundred years of the imbalance between man's increase in population growth and the decrease in all species on our planet including the Oceans which have been stripped of their natural resources, fish and anything that crawls and moves mankind will get his teeth into and eat it.
The Nile Neolithic Crocodiles and many other species can go without food and water for over a year. The crocodile species have dug out deep caves underground to be near to cool damp moist conditions and them go into hibernation to reserve their body mass.
In 1962 at the age of fifteen Brian had two motor bikes. He used his Honda motor bike to travel around Kenya, especially to Naro Moru on the slopes of Mount Kenya and he would drive up Mount Kenya’s forest track scrambling over the deep mud, stopping and sketching as he went (at a time when anyone could freely go up Mt Kenya, now Mt Kenya is a National Park with park wardens and is a controlled area, which one has to pay to enter). When coming around a corner he came across a young bull Elephant standing on the track looking at him and his noisy motor bike. The bull Elephant started up the track, stopped and turned into the forest then vanished.
Brian noticed tusk markings in the bank of the track and realised the Bull Elephant was extracting natural salt from the soil. Brian discovered from painting them that forest pigmy elephants are much smaller than the African plains bush elephant species, which are grazers and browsers. The forest elephant species are mainly browsers, they are shy and less aggressive than Loxodonta Africana, which is visually easy accessible as a tourist attraction, and to poachers who have decimated the Elephant herds for their ivory, due to the open African plains where one can see for a great many miles/kilometres and with modern high velocity military weapons such as the AK47 and SKS rifles.
Brian travelled at the age of fifteen in 1962 on his Honda motor bike on dirt roads to a village called Loitokitok on the Kenya side of Mount Kilimanjaro. He loved the sight of Kilimanjaro coming into view as he drew nearer as it seemed to raise itself out of the Masai plains. He sketched in his book Kilimanjaro and the surrounding bush and the local Masai then painted the images onto oil on canvas and hardboard.
The Masai tribe are an East African Nomadic proud people who live on the Masai Plains. They have followed their own tribal customs and beliefs since time began. As soon as they can walk and care for themselves the Masai boys are taught to be cattle herdsmen and accompany their fathers and older siblings. They live off the land and live in harmony with nature, when a drought threatens; the whole settlement can be up rooted within hours and moved to a fertile pasture and a new settlement established. It is a hard life on the open plains of East Africa living in small settlements, which are called Manyata’s. Across Africa there are many nomadic tribes in the Kalahari Desert the San people and in Australia with the Aboriginal tribes
The local wildlife could be seen in abundance in 1962 on the Masai Plains, approaching Mt Kilimanjaro Brian could see a mass of rainforest creating a belt all around the base of the mountain as far as the eye could see. The town of Loitokitok high on the slopes of the mountain, which is on the Kenya side of Mt Kilimanjaro border with Tanzania, was surrounded by vast thick canopies of rainforest trees, shrubbery and tropical forest wildlife from the largest to the smallest.
The natural mountain rainforest was chopped down to make way for farming millet and maize/corn and other crops on the Kenya side of Mt Kilimanjaro from around 5,500ft up to Loitokitok township and above the town to the Tanzanian border in the forest had been destroyed, like wise on the Tanzanian side of the border (at a time when anyone could freely go up Mt Kilimanjaro without a visa or passport, there is a border post stationed in the Kilimanjaro forest on the border with Tanzania where you have a passport control like any other national border crossing.
The natural mountain rainforest was deforested to make way for farming millet and maize/corn and other crops on the Kenya side of Mt Kilimanjaro from around 5,500ft up to Loitokitok township and above the town to the Tanzanian border in the forest had been destroyed, like wise on the Tanzanian side of the border (at a time when anyone could freely go up Mt Kilimanjaro. Now Mt Kilimanjaro is a controlled area with a customs border post, which one has to pay for visa’s to enter Tanzania). In 1962 there was no Tanzanian border Post, Brian used to cross through the mountain rainforest freely, Kenya had to built a border post on its side so as it may stamp passports of people exiting and returning to Kenya/Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro.
Brian had been invited by the family of a friend in Nairobi to accompany them to Naro Moru, a little place on the side of the main Nairobi-Nanyuki road. They turned left after the Naro Moru shops and headed down a dirt track to the Naro Moru River Lodge, which was a small beautiful bungalow with dark wood panels and a lovely grass lawn. It had gentle slops down to the Naro Moru River, which has a rich light brown coloured flowing water, cold to the touch due to its source is from the Mt Kenya rainforest slopes and Glaciers, the river also has trout fishing. Brian stayed there for three weeks and just loved the surrounding area and bush with a view of Mt Kenya’s 17,057ft peak (Bation), a sight to die for.
Come forward in time forty six years and the old Naro Moru River Lodge was sold and the area around it has been developed, landscaped and transformed into a large complex of bungalows/cottages with 133 beds. The name Naro Moru River Lodge has been retained and the old bungalow style and colour scheme has been copied throughout the new site. The only difference is it has expanded all along the Naro Moru River south bank. The lodge does climb up Mt Kenya. Brian had been up the Naro Moru Mt Kenya track in 1962 on his Honda Motor bike, and he has done twelve expeditions on Mt Kenya.
Elephant herds could be seen for miles across the plains, however the forest pigmy elephant is virtually illusive and sometimes impossible to track or locate, unless you are a complete bush tracker. Brian loved and visited many volcanoes across Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, he would make a hiding place for his motor bike and years later his jeep then disappear through the mountain forest, only taking a basic survival kit. With a lighter load and being able to live off the land he could return within an hour to two hours of dusk since wildlife are active (feeding) before nightfall. If he couldn't get back in time he would find a safe area to sleep in the bush/forest and make his way home in the morning.
In 1966 Brian would be back at eighteen years old on an expedition/safari with his old secondary school Delemere Boys. Leading the expedition was Norman Myers who was a teacher at Delemere Boys School in Nairobi. Norman had firsthand experience of Brian’s long distance running ability across the bush, both Brian and Norman are high altitude athletes who have ran Kilimanjaro many times. Norman Myers has become Professor Norman Myers CBE.
Norman Myers as the leader asked Brian if he would like to accompany his old school Delemere Boys School expedition/safari. The safari would be to set up a camp and sleep in the crater of Kilimanjaro with a selection of boys from the school. Norman Myers led the expedition to the crater in 1966, the expedition left Loitokitok village on the outward bound route on the toughest route on Kilimanjaro, the tourist routes are in Tanzania. Starting at approximately 5,400 ft and they went through the rainforest which was intact and looking beautiful in the 1960’s. They slept a night in first caves at 10,400ft and the second night in second caves at 11,500ft, and then they climbed up to Kibo Hut at 15,520 ft. Then the expedition that was to sleep in a very small rock crack called Hans Mayer’s cave at 17,000 ft and the expedition members froze that night.
The group carried full rucksacks weighing forty pounds each which were fully loaded with tents, sleeping bags, food and stoves for the camp in the crater, the stoves were more than useless due to Kilimanjaros high altitude of 19,345ft and the reduced oxygen levels, just trying to boil water was a major undertaking. The next day they started their ascent to Gilman’s Point which lies on the crater rim. On reaching this point Brian witnessed the most beautiful sight he had ever seen, a landscape of giant ice tower spirals shaped like cathedrals with ice on the floor on the inside of the crater with glaciers. All tourist climbers do not carry rucksack to the top of the mountain. 2011 has seen a vast reduction of ice within the crater region and again on the outer slopes (ice cap region), which has been reduced by man who has accelerated the planets climate by his activities.
Brian was overcome by the sight before him of the awesome crater caldron size and its beauty created by the power of this magnificent volcanic giant which had risen from the Masai plains below at around 4,600ft to 19,345ft an average height increase of around 15,000 ft, When looking East across the mountain he could see the shape and curvature of the Earth looking East towards the Indian Ocean. Brian descended into the crater, the group set up camp and that night was the coldest night he can remember due to plunging temperatures. During the night he could hear the ice tower cathedral spirals cracking. There was a smell of rotten eggs in the crater possibly from open vents within the crater floor or its caldron steep sided crater rim.
This was at a time when camping equipment was very basic, and Kilimanjaro had many glaciers before mans activities speeded up climatic evolution and mans greed of the planets natural resources. The next morning Brian left the inside of the crater with Norman Myers wife Dorothy Myers and another boy to climb to Uhuru Peak at 19,345 ft above sea level. This little trip must be a world record to climb Kilimanjaro. A record was set as Norman Myers’s expedition/safari was the youngest with an average age of just sixteen. The total number of climbers sent to East Africa’s mountains in 1961 was no more than six hundred at that time. Norman Myers (Brian Herbert’ school teacher) is Professor Norman Myers, CMG Consultant in Environment and Development. He is the author of over 300 papers in professional journals and over two dozen books. Norman Myers has been a lifelong friend to Brian Herbert for 52 years.
Brian was stationed in Kisumu town on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, he stayed at the Kisumu Hotel with the firms survey team, from there the team would leave Kisumu and travel to Kakemega each day surveying a new root for a tarmac/bitumen road from Kakemega to Brokerick Falls, on the junction of the main road to Uganda, that would cover twenty six miles and a new bridge, which would replace the old dirt road, Mt Elgon’s 14,173 ft can be seen every day. Then back to Nairobi office after four months surveying. The team had to do all the drawings and tender the documents to be advertised out for a contractor.
Then back to Kakemega for four years, Mt Elgon can be seen every working day for four years. Then the work load increased for another twenty miles of bitumen roads. Brian had knowledge of Lake Victoria and its water outlets from rivers around the Kakemega region thirty four miles north, he has written about Gold Mining in the Kakemega region where he lived for four years, and he has mentioned Mercury Hg, which could enter Lake Victoria from mining, this article is near the end of the Bio.
Brian was asked by Norman Myers to accompany another expedition/safari to circumnavigate Mount Kenya and cross the entire glacier region. The group started up the Naro Maru track and through the rainforest and across the moorland bog and down into the Teleki Valley where Mt Kenya is there before you and Point St John at 16,020 ft and Point Pigott at 16,260 ft to the left is the Tyndall and Forel and Diamond Glaciers, stay the night at the Teleki Hut, next day climb up to the Lewis Glacier then off to the hut near Curling Pond.
To his left facing west is the Darwin Glacier and behind him facing due south is the Hohnel Valley and facing north Nelion at 17,020 ft the second highest peak to the left, stay the night and in the morning up the Lewis Glacier to Point Lenana at 16,355 ft from the summit he could see the Hobley Valley South East and the Macmillion Peak off to the left.
Brian’s old school has a Delemere Peak at 4,710m named after his Delemere Boys School. Descending down from Point Lenana on to the Gregory Glacier they are now facing north into the Hinde Valley up over the next high valley and across the Krapt Glacier at 15,900 ft. Bation the very top of Mt Kenya at 17,057ft was now facing south, up again and down into the Northey Glacier once again up and down and into the Mackinder Valley and Point Peter above them.
They had one more valley to cross and the Josef Glacier above the Hausburg Valley, the team still had to climb out of the Housburg Valley and down into the Teleki Valley where they started the expedition/safari climb they still had to climb the other side of the Teleki Valley to exit Mt Kenya then they could start their descent towards the forest tree line, and the moorland bog and only another six thousand feet to go down the mountain. Brian and Norman Myers group climbed every valley thousands of feet which surrounded Mount Kenya over a period of a week. Their expedition leader Norman Myers has always been a leading force behind Delemere Boys School; he has been a role model for the pupils at Delemere Boys High School in Nairobi Kenya.
Schools across the globe are reluctant to organise outdoor activities. This is mainly due to a possible threat of litigation if a child has a scratch, bruise or an accident while undergoing educational adventure exercises. This is skills training for later life in the real world, which could save their lives as well as their peers.
Brian will respond to anyone hurt in an accident and will do whatever it takes to save lives. Brian has always been aware that the general public tend to walk on by or stand around just looking on. Brian has had to call out for assistance to hold a casualty’s head still. Take a lesson from his outdoor activities at Delemare Boys School Nairobi Kenya, which he found so rewarding as a child. Our school teachers in Kenya would encourage outdoor bush activities.
Norman Myers being a Professional photographer, author and school teacher took wonderful photographs of the Mt Kenya trip and of Brian standing on an ice bridge with a crevice under that ice bridge while pointing his ice pick at the Lewis Glacier’s broken ice crevice and the layers of ice laid down over thousands of years. Sadly this section of the Lewis Glacier does not exist since many of the glaciers are receding.
Norman Myers’ photographs were displayed at Expo 1967 in April that year in Montreal Canada on the Kenya stand, showing Mount Kenya in its mountainous western sector. Mount Kenya’s 16,355 ft Point Lenana is where the New Constitution of 2010 of Kenya is placed, Point Lenana was named after a Masai Chief.
Brian does not use porters on his mountain safaris, on one of Brian’s Mount Kenya expeditions/safaris as leader of his group in 1967, he managed to drive as far up the Naro Moru track with his Jeep so as to assist his climbing group from the strain of carrying their rucksacks further up the mountain. The heavens opened up and it rained all the way to the forest tree line and into the moorland bog.
The group were soaking wet and cold and one of the climbers had real problems with his feet from the moorland bog. Sores appeared and his skin was coming away from his flesh with blisters, Brian gave first aid and stopped the climb two hours before darkness since it would be impossible for his group to move on, he decided to sleep the night in the moorland bog with the group at about 11,000 feet. In the 1960’s there was no mountain rescue service, you were alone and coped as best you could without a radio transmission kit.
The next morning Brian managed with the rest of the group to evacuate the man down the mountain, Brian had trouble trying to start his jeep’s engine in the high altitude mountain rainforest reduced oxygen air, just like humans mechanical combustion engines need oxygen. The jeeps engine kept on stopping and starting with very little power, this was all Brian needed, after starting the engine he had to coax the jeep to get his group to the main Naro Moru and Nanyuki to Nairobi road. Brian managed to get lifts for the group back to the city of Nairobi.
Brian started to examine and work on his engine of his DKW German army jeep when a rancher who was purchasing supplies at Naro Moru shop offered to give him a hand explaining he had the exact jeep back in his ranch barn and was very familiar with its engine. He explained that Brian should try and get the jeep to his ranch by driving slowly, he drew a rough map which was five miles on small dirt tracks, the rancher explained he could not hang around since he had a farm to run, he said “you get your jeep to my farm and my staff and I will take your engine out and replace it with mine”, Brian was not surprised by his offer and thanked him and said he would do his best to find the farm in the dark, Brian found the farm and was invited into the barn, when the lights were switched on the exact copy of Brian’s jeep could be seen.
The rancher had his own mechanics that were familiar with all the farm machinery and had worked on their farm DKW Jeep. That engine was removed, the entire group worked flat out and removed Brian’s jeep engine which had saved Brian’s life on so many expeditions/safaris when a big pride of Loins once blocked his path one night in the bush and surrounded his jeep, which had only canvas doors and top.
That was a night to remember by staying calm and not showing signs of fright stay cool and keep the engine running for a quick getaway. His DKW jeep was so reliable mainly due to Brian each morning would give his jeep a first parade check before setting off due to there were no garages in the bush/mountain forest.
On through the night they worked until the farmers jeep engine was in place and all connected up, “we’ll start it up” said the farmer. On the first turn of the ignition key the engine came to life first time, “well you better be off to Nairobi”, where in the whole world would a stranger hand over his engine of his beloved jeep and even help with the removal of two engine’s, Brian then set off in the dark through the bush tracks for another five miles till he came to the main Naro Moru Nairobi road.
Brian had been blessed with so much luck, or was it just fate? That a Guardian Angel is watching over him once again, he has escaped death many times. Kenyans are very close to nature and will help out anyone even giving you their last bit of food. Brian was not surprised by the offer of a farmer’s engine.
Brian on a Safari/Survey deep in the Aberdares Mountain Forest in Kenya with his civil engineering firm on the Chania River Dam project for a new Nairobi water supply for the future, The site had only just been cleared for surveying, it was a hair raising site location with very steep sided gorges, his site had up to 45 degree slopes, at around 8,000 ft in the tropical Aberdares mountains range virgin rainforest. Brian was concerned that the natural habitats such as in the Aberdares rainforest should be protected for the Bongo antelope which have become hunted and poached, both males and females have horns. The African Forest Hog is another species that makes its home range in the Aberdares Mountain Forest and are hunted and poached for it meat.
The rain and the mud were like skiing on ice, and tree trunks scattered all over the place after they had been chopped down, thus making the task of a survey very dangerous. If Brian and his survey companion had an accident it would have been hopeless to get them to a hospital since Kenya had no air ambulance or a radio net work to call for help in the 1960’s let alone a specialist hospital which was over a hundred miles away in Nairobi.
In Brian’s spare time he would run the forest steep tracks and wonder off into the forest and seek out the beautiful shy Bongo antelope tracks, a herbivores forest species, both female and males have horns which is unusual in antelopes. The Aberdare mountain range reaches a height of just over twelve thousand feet into the moorland and the vast rainforest water catchment area, hence the proposed dam site.
Brian did a Mt Elgon rescue in Kenya in 1968 on his own looking for a missionary teacher in Western Province who had been on one of Brian’s expeditions to Mt Kilimanjaro and had thought he could copy Brian’s bush skills and planning, which he does quickly from years of experience, Brian’s climbing and running the mountains for fun and pleasure to see his subjects the wildlife at close quarters at weekends due to work commitments.
Mount Elgon is on the Kenya Uganda border, a mountain which had no tourist in 1968 and only local farmers on the mountain slopes, Brian had ran and climbed Mt Elgon many times before, running surrounded by thick tropical rainforest rising to around 9,000 feet and mountain rain and mist, above the forest are moorlands. The total height of Mt Elgon is 14,173 ft,
Brian’s dog had to be left behind on this Elgon trip, his trusted pet Bluey his Irish Red Setter was always alert in forests and especially Kakemega Forest and would warn Brian of dangerous animals by stopping dead still pointing with one leg slightly raised and his nose facing the danger ahead, Bluey could not come on the Elgon trip as he would bark and it would attract unwanted attention from predators.
Mt Elgon has a great giant crater caldron which rises to 14,173 feet, Mount Elgon’s highest point on the Kenya side is Koitobus, the mountain is larger than London, Elgon from south to north is 60 miles by 40 miles across from east to west and is Kenya’s second highest mountain and has the largest mountain mass to its base, with every species you could imagine such as, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephants, Leopard’s, and Lion’s, and the little more friendly wildlife of over 300 species of birds. Mt Elgon has caves with volcanic rock salts and many minerals.
Imagine Mt Elgon (on the Kenya/Uganda border) was a large ball of dough which is 14,173 feet high (4319.9304 metres). Now roll your imaginary Mt Elgon dough to form a round flat shape. The surface area would be a vast amount larger than many cities for example London (United Kingdom). Imagine trying to find one person in this area. It would literary be like looking for a needle in a hay stack.
On returning down the mountain and not finding the missionary, there was evidence that the local people had been busy collecting fire wood in the forest from evidence left behind. Brian’s bush tracking skills were put to the test looking for fresh broken branches and tracks/spoor of human foot prints and shoe or boot impressions and animal fresh tracks/spoor, even if it had a limp in the muddy track before the evening closed in. Warm animal and/or human faeces/scat of carnivores, such as Leopard’s and Lion’s droppings, which can be seen and felt for their heat status. Once again warm faeces/scat of Buffalo and Elephant droppings which can be seen and felt for their heat status. As the loss of warmth is an indicator which gives a time frame reading when the droppings faeces/scat was deposited at the location and even the health of the animals, and the bones of that animals last meal within the faeces/scat can be recognised as what species was last eaten. Brian has never carried a fire arm in the mountains or bush for protection against wildlife or snakes.
Brian changed into dry clothing he had in his emergency rucksack, he always keeps handy, after running possibly twenty miles up the mountain and down on that cold muddy mountain track.
Brian called into the local police station at Kimilili town on the slopes of Mt Elgon and parked his Jeep and asked the station commander if he could have his police askaris (constables/officers) and a land rover to check the mountain for the missionary. The station commander agreed, they set off with armed police askari escorts with British Lee Enfield 303 rifles which are handy since the mountain had rain and mist in the forest with dangerous large animals. There was a possibility that we could slide off the very steep muddy forest track in the dark and end up in the forest trees for the night, if we survived. Hence the fire arms for protection from large animals.
After returning to Kimilili police station with no sightings or evidence of the missionary, as last resort Brian called into a mission station on Mount Elgon and spoke to the local priest and told him he had been up Mt Elgon looking for a missionary teacher from Kakemega. The priest told Brian he was in their mission. Brian wished him well as he would be off home to Rosterman Gold Mine. If ever you decide to go out in the mountains/forests anywhere on our planet especially in remote areas such as Africa which has dangerous animals, please leave a message with the local police station and your closest friends.
Brian worked for a consultant Civil Engineering firm and he had to be back at work. Brian was put in danger due to the actions of a visitor from abroad who came to Africa and thought the mountains are like a walk in a city park. Africa’s giant high altitude mountains are wildlife habitats with many species. Stay safe and tell friends where you are going and when you expect to be back and if you cancel the trip call in and report that fact.
Nowadays we have mobile phones to call for help anywhere in the world. Don’t ever forget humans are trespassing on wild animal territorial borders and could be fair game for a quick meal after all man has destroyed the very ecosystems they have lived in harmony with since time began by reducing their habitat range and their population numbers.
I am Brian Herbert, my friends in the isolated Kakemega rainforests with its biodiversity of insects and some plants found nowhere else in Kenya. Kakemega rainforest has been slowly disappearing since I was last there. I had witnessed the locals clearing the forest for Maize/Corn growing. The wood was made into charcoal, forty years on and the Kakemega rainforest has become a tourist destination, and may the forest gods save this once beautiful Equatorial forest. I have missed the rainforest trees and its wildlife and insects and all species that make up the ecosystem that was my home for four wonderful years.
Let’s not forget those naughty Gaboon Viper snakes and its young offspring who are born with their poisonous venom at birth as so many venomous snakes are. The Gaboon Viper is a deadly poisonous snake and carries the largest amount of venom of any venomous snake and its fangs being one of the longest of any venomous snake on the planet. With exception to the 5 meter (18 foot length) of the King Cobra which has large fangs and deadly poisonous glands, the King Cobra has been poorly handled by not holding onto the back of their heads for protection. Their heads are as big as a man's hand. Many inexperienced handlers tend to support them about a metre away from their head believing they are their pets, this allows the King Cobra to swing around and bite thus killing its victim within minutes.
The possible explanation could be that films showing Indian Snake Charmers in public with their King Cobras and/or Indian Cobras with open hoods in a display when the handler plays his instrument in public, snakes have no ears and cannot hear, they feel vibrations and have wonderful eyesight, the cobra follows the movement of the flute instrument, hence the swaying motion on films. The handlers remove the King Cobras the Indian Cobras fangs and poisonous venom sacks/glands, rendering the animal harmless. Kakemega Forest has no King Cobras. In Africa they mainly live in North Africa along the Mediterranean Sea, South Africa and Swaziland.
My Civil Engineering firm gave myself syringes with anti snake bite venom as a antidote against being bitten by venomous snakes, problem was it needed to be kept in a fridge, there was no way I could carry around the antidote in a four by four vehicle over rough terrain. Anyway, having anti snake bite serum could put one off guard thinking it solved the snake problem. The best way to protect yourself in the forest or on the African plains is to be vigilant at all times that you don’t upset the snakes having their sun bathing sessions, being a cold blooded reptile they warm up in the sun just like crocodiles do, so they may restart there engine so to speak. Enjoy yourself when you go up into the rainforest, don’t worry there are beautiful butterflies, birds and amazing habitats, how wonderful evolution has brought together such wonders of our home earth.
Kakemega Kenya, Brian was living on Rosterman Gold Mine when he was approached by the brother of a missionary who Brian had tried to rescue on Mt Elgon. The brother wanted Brian’s jeep for a blind school that produced books for the blind children in the brail format, near the Uganda border, Brian’s loyal and trusted companion, his steel horse, his Germany army DKW jeep.
Brian thought it would be nice to pay a visit to the blind school, on arrival at the school Brian saw his jeep on blocks, due to the new owners forgot to mix oil with petrol as the jeep has a two stroke engine. The jeep was put on blocks so as the blind children could play in his jeep safely pretending to drive it, Brian had tears and was moved by the sight, so to speak of the blind children playing and caring for their jeep, which was a fitting tribute to Brian’s trusted jeep.
Brian had enjoyed many safari’s/expeditions on Africa’s mountains over many years. The local people do this every day to survive, Mountain Guides, Porters and anti poaching trackers do it as a living. Some have climbed Africa’s and the planets mountains hundreds of times. Brian wishes to have this opportunity to pay a tribute in memory to all those Mountain Guides, Porters and anti poaching trackers who have selflessly cared and served those who love the free spirit of hiking and climbing and visiting national parks worldwide.
A mark of respect to all those Guides, Porters and anti poaching trackers that have lost their lives or have been injured in the line of duty on mountains and national parks caring so as the untrained and those who love the outdoors are kept safe from harm. Also Anti Poaching Wildlife Wardens who patrol and protect National Parks come across armed poachers who kill Elephants for their Ivory Tusks and Rhino for their Horns.
Let us pay a Tribute in Memory of wildlife wardens and anti poaching trackers who suffer heavy casualties and death from poachers military hardware such as the AK47 and the SKS rifles which have butchered and massacred wholesale animals to extinction such as the Western African Rhino and the Vietnamese Rhino in the last five years, the African black and white rhino is on the verge of extension from the AK47 and the SKS rifle. Let us not forget these weapons are killing human beings as well, such as national parks wardens and anti poaching trackers/scouts that are slaughters by armed poachers when trackers/scouts and wardens come into contact with large poaching gangs who lay ambushes so they can kill Rhino for their horn and Elephant for their tusks.
Brian donated funds to the World Wildlife Fund and Sir Peter Scott dispatched a letter to me thanking me. Brian went to Slimbridge Wetland Wildfowl Trust set up by Sir Peter Scott the son of explorer Captain Scot of Antarctica. Slimbridge was very basic in the early 1970’s now it has a watch tower designed to look like a bird bath with wonderful modern facilities overlooking the many species of birds. At ground level the human species have modern comforts. The World Wildlife Fund main sponsor was Mr Rosterman who owned gold mines in Africa. Brian lived on one of his disused old gold mines in Kakemega Kenya as seen in my biography under the heading 1967-1970 BRIAN’S HOME AT ROSTERMAN GOLD MINE KAKEMEGA.
In October 1978 Brian had heard reports that the Scottish Secretary of State had signed a document for the culling of thousands of Atlantic Grey seals and their new born baby seal pups by shooting them in the Orkney Islands, the excuse given for the cull was about fish stocks been depleted by the seals putting fishermen out of business. Not so the laws on fishing quotas laid down restricted the fishermen from limited catches, hence the trawlers where laid up in harbours.
Brian grabbed hold of his rucksack and kit and booked a flight to the main town in the Orkneys named Kirkwell, while he was on the flight two men approached him and asked if he was going to the Orkney Islands for the seal cull, he said he was, they explained they were from Germany. Mr Jean-Pierre Moine said he was from an animal fund group and he introduced Brian to Dr Klaus Sojka, they both explained their knowledge of the scattered islands of Orkney were poor. ‘They were going to book into a hotel in Kirkwall’. Brian told them he had over a hundred pound in weight of equipment and provisions and they were welcome to come along with him since he had maps of the Orkney Islands, they were very excited and offered to pay for any transport costs. “Deal” said Brian “once we are off this aircraft we travel straight to a location I have already planned on the Island of Stronsey to St John’s Point where we will set up an OP observation point with my telescope and put up the tent which sleeps three, a spot for a look out on the island of Little Linger”.
On the aircraft to the Orkney Islands there were press and television crews from many countries. Brian ignored them and stayed focused on the task at hand that was to get to his destination on Stronsey Island rather than starting a dialogue with the press. Then an unexpected meeting with Mr Jean-Pierre Moine and Dr Klaus Sojka who he has lost contact with.
Brian and the two men set off to the harbour to find a hired boat, Brian spoke to a fisherman who was sitting in his boat cabin and asked him would he like to make a trip to Stronsey Island.
The two German gentlemen set a price for the trip with the captain “let’s go” the captain of the fishing boat said “climb aboard and put your gear in the boat” Brian’s two new companions climbed aboard, just before they arrived at the landing stage jetty on Stronsey Island.
Brian gave the captain the reason of their trip, Brian did not want to tell the captain back in Kirkwel why they had come to the Orkney’s since he was a fisherman and could be one of the fishermen who complained about the seals eating too much fish, the captain said soon as he set eyes on us he knew why we were in Orkney for the seal cull, which he did not agree to, he was a lobster fisherman, he lowered the trip price.
Fish stock numbers have been declining at a deadly rate due to the old practice of over fishing throughout the world in the nineteenth, twentieth and now into the twenty first century. Nature cannot keep up the breeding of stocks just to feed the human species, which has been expanding at a rate that out strips the replacement of either vegetables, fresh meat on the hoof, battery poultry or extensive farming methods. Ocean Salmon farming or Trout farming on land, man must seek out his own survival by family planning methods As a species man has set in motion his own decline and just around the corner (in time) we as a species will suffer our own fate. The blame game is over, allow nature to restock our Oceans and rivers and the vast herds across the plains to regenerate their numbers.
Brian asked a gentleman on the quayside if he could give them a lift to St John’s Point, he did part of the distance and they walked the rest of the way.
Stronsey Island is void of trees and is only thirty metres above sea level, a landscape of tuffs of windswept grass for sheep farming. There are three photographs of the observation post area and two photographs taken by Brian Herbert from the air over the sea where the Kvitungen Norwegian seal hunter’s ship was being shadowed by Green peace’s Rainbow Warrior.
One of the photographs from the aircraft shows the small uninhabited island of Little Linger, take note of the aircrafts cockpit front section in the foreground diving towards the island where the seals are. Brian took photographs just off his observation point of the red Norwegian hunters ship the Kvitungen, Rainbow Warrior and the press boat following them both around for hours off Little Linger.
The press boat spotted Brian’s group and came in quiet close to shore but was nervous of the submerged rocks offshore, they took photographs.
The seal cull was called off and everybody went home, the baby seals with their mums and dads had their death sentence squashed.
Since October 1978 there has been no more talk of culling the Atlantic seals. I believe it’s only a matter of time when once again the fishermen will target the seals. In the last thirty two years the fishermen have had major restrictions imposed on them.
From Brian Herbert: "I lived for four years on Rosterman Gold mine between 1966 – 1970 outside of Kakemega town in Western Province Kenya, my parents were friends with Sammy Samuel who was in his eighties and his wife who was a nurse at the local hospital. He was the oldest gold miner in the West (Kenya). Sammy worked his own gold mine in the Kakemega region and looked the part as a gold prospector and miner with that hard man appearance. He was great company to be around, he treated me like a son and taught me some geology, all the know how of being a prospector and how to mine gold by crushing rocks to extract the gold from crushed ore, he was living African history. I would go down his mine, which was hardly supported by safety shore up beams and watch the mining process in action, there will never be another Sammy Samuels, he was like a father figure, brave and had guts putting his life on the line. I will miss his sense of humour."
The current price of gold is around $1,551.80 dollars per ounce in 2013, thus creating an environment around the world where prospectors are reaching out for the yellow rock dust.
The Luhya people of the western Kenya region Brian remembers as gentle, kind, humble, graceful and a proud people. Brian wishes them well for the future. Brian was in Kakemega for four short happy years from 1966 to 1970 arriving as a nineteen year old teenager growing into manhood when. Brian left at twenty three years old and now was a man. He has witnessed hardship amongst the Kenyan people, and can remember as a child growing up in Kenya and having leant the values of life on the edge of existence and what the people went through to feed and educate their families in schools, which they had to pay for. You have seen TV footage of local school children walking across the bush to school with wild animals just looking on, this is because the locals are one with nature thus wild animals see them as just an extension of life and they all live in harmony with each other.
Brian wishes to thank his company driver Edward who drove him around to so many civil engineering projects, he never had an accident during his four years as a loyal friend and work companion, driving around the bush and forest tracks sometimes in the heavy rainy seasons in conditions unfit for vehicles. Edward would pick him up at Rosterman Gold Mine each morning at eight o’clock in the morning, he was never late. We would return home late at night, Brian’s cook Chebby would cook myself African food from white Maize Meal/Corn (Swahili: ungali wa mahindi) mixed with fresh red and green kidney beans and local vegetables. Kenya has so many all year round fresh fruits and vegetables with so many to choose from. There are also many wild fruits and vegetables in the forest and bush/bundu, which are much healthier than European food that are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides (poison).
It’s no wonder Brian could run up mountains, thanks to Chebby cooking. Kakemega is only a couple of miles from the Equator therefore we would have twelve hours of darkness and twelve hours of daylight all year round, at night the stars would sparkle and twinkle lighting up the bush and forest. If ever there was a holiday location that offers everything with beautiful scenery and wildlife habitats visit Kenya and its friendly people.
The Nandi Hills are east of Kakemega Forest. Brian had to travel through Kakemega town to Kapsebet for the second survey of the Kapsebet to Eledoret road in 1968, where the Nandi tribe region extends north to Mt Elgon in Kenya. They are the world’s greatest long distance runners in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Also City Marathons, that are staged for long distance and endurance runners. The Nandi are specialist in this sport. The Nandi tribe have put Kenya on the world stage as the greatest humans on two legs ever to set foot on our planet. As a long distance and high altitude mountain runner myself, Brian wish them good luck for the 2012 London Olympics.
Brian ran and climbed the volcano of Mount Kilimanjaro and camped in its crater at 19,345 ft, the volcanic plug of Mount Kenya at 17,056 ft and the giant volcanic crater of Mount Elgon at 14,175ft, its main mountain mass is mainly in Uganda and on the Kenya border the sixth trip was a rescue by Brian of a missionary. Brian in the 1960’s had organised expeditions up Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya for the public in his spare time.
There are smaller volcanoes in the Great Rift Valley (Kenya), where Brian’s family home was on the slopes of the volcano Menengai, which stands at 6,400 ft, and its crater overlooking Lake Nakuru where the Flamingos breed and have a residence. It is now a national park fenced off for endangered species such as the White and Black Rhino. If you take a close look at the photograph of Brian’s mother Violet standing in her garden near the hedge beyond is a maize/corn fields you can see Lake Nakuru which is world famous for its Flamingo flocks. Brian has circumnavigated the African continent in cruise ships and travelled from Kenya on the Equator by car to the most southern tip of Africa and back to Kenya.
Brian had an art studio in Notting Hill at Powis Terrance, London, W11 1JP. His neighbour David Hockney the artist had an art studio in the same building. Brian created some lovely canvas masterpieces in his studio and put together a collection of paintings. Due to the poor grey light of Britain and its weather especially during the winter months, this affects artists who must have a constant natural source of sunlight to be able to carry out painting in the medium of oil on canvas.
The laying down of layer after layer of oil paint (which dries very slowly in the UK) one cannot put down a fresh layer of paint on a wet or partly dry paint surface as it would remove the last layer of paint.
Painting in oil on canvas is very much like a surgical procedure, by mixing oil paint and working as if you were dealing with a live patient (the animal you are painting), a duty of care must be maintained at all stages or the operation of creating your art masterpiece.. Caring for your own artistic talent and your art materials is paramount. An artist does a one off masterpiece unlike a factory product that is manufactured in mass. Once a mass production product is sold it will be superseded by a newer version. The original design idea is of course the masterpiece of an artist crafts person, designer and or an engineer.
While living in Powis Terrace Brian worked as part of Kensington Market management, Freddy Mercury also worked in Kensington Market. He was born on the Island of Zanzibar in East Africa he was a shy person, Brian’s family have visited Zanzibar. After work the market staff would go to the Greyhound pub in Young Street near the market where Hurricane Higgins played his snooker, he would become world snooker champion.
British Steel Challenge around the world yacht race had ten yachts in the race around the world which consisted of 28,000 miles in 67 ft steel yachts. Brian asked British Steel if they could collect the Oceans marine Zooplankton and Phytoplankton samples in their yachts fine mesh water filter system and record the position of the yacht when the samples were obtained. Brian loaned the yacht British Steel his scientific water testing instrument to take readings of the Ocean’ salinity, temperature, conductivity, also to log such measurements in his prepared tables with dates etc. Brian supplied containers with formalin liquid, which is used to preserve the Zooplankton and Phytoplankton specimens, which inhabit the sea. ‘The marine ecosystems are far less publicised than the loss of biological diversity on the land’.
British Airways offered to pick up and deliver the samples when British Steel yacht pulled into their stopover destinations around the world, they then would be flown back to Britain and Brian would collect them from Heathrow Airport.
Brian would supply information concerning very large icebergs from the British Antarctic Survey. Some icebergs are as big as the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom and growlers which are small broken icebergs are as large as a house. They break off the Antarctic ice shelves and also break off icebergs drifting across the Oceans. Icebergs can be a major hazard to shipping as radar must be relied upon to detect them. Observations will reveal the shadow will increase in size on approach to an iceberg, and swing around as the angle between the ship and the iceberg changes. However, care should be taken in using this technique as the returns from pack ice can obscure the return from the iceberg profile on the radar screen. Icebergs can leave scaring on the sea bed when they make contact as glaciers do on land by leaving scratch markings on valleys and boulders.
Brian can recall from history Captain Cook of the British Navy’s voyages of discovery through the southern hemisphere in 1769 to 1771 logged details of an abundance of whales, dolphins, sea lions and penguins, which often filled the sea around Captain Cook’s ship. Cook describes the horrible slaughter of almost every living mammal in the regions he sailed through in the mid 1800’s when man’s savage brutal slaughter of so many rich species in the Oceans. Over 240 years on our Oceans have been trashed and become desolate from modern deep Ocean going trawlers with high tech sonar which can trace fish and GPS navigation equipment, this is to feed man’ population explosion on our planet. Captain Cook’ ship was launched as the Earl of Pembroke, then bought by the Navy and renamed HMS Endeavour.
The extinction of all the Oceans Tuna species is inevitable due to over fishing by all the worlds fishing fleets, some countries have come together as a unified effort to regulate fish stock quotas, such as Cod and Tuna. Many countries across the globe have no legal fish quotas.
The Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) from the East African Great Rift Valley lakes such as Lake Victoria is a very large fresh water species that can be farmed by capturing their eggs and raising the small fry. They can be put into separation tanks as they grow at different rates to prevent cannibalism. They cannot be released into the Great Rift Valley Lakes ecosystems as small fry since they would be eaten as part of the food chain. They can be released into small holding ponds that are filled with the Lakes natural fresh water which has Lake Species that they can feed on and then can be released into the wider lakes ecosystems. As a protein source they could be a substitute for the Oceans Cod, Tuna and all other endangered salt water species.
On land we have a mass rise in human population across the globe. Each and every human will need access to food just to sustain life. Human long term management for the future is vital for survival.
Let it be a warning to humans that have been here before us in the 18th century who failed to have a plan of management, such as failing to stock their ships with adequate supplies to feed their crews. Ship Captains could not keep fresh food for long and took to island hopping for fresh supplies (e.g. the Dodo a flightless bird on the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean slaughtered to extinction by passing sailors en route to India (the Far East) as an easy take away food and the local population of the island saw the Dodo as a natural food source). The Ostrich, a flightless bird from the African plains is farmed across the globe as a delicacy, once again for human consumption. The chicken and the turkey are flightless birds and end up on dinner plates from mass battery farming.
A Tribute in memory of a friend of Brian’ a fellow artist Roger Stephens missing on his solo passage leg on his Yacht Orbit in the Pacific Ocean on the 26th June 2008. He left Neyland Marina on the 23 June 2006, near on two years to the day Roger and Orbit have never been sighted. To follow up on Roger Stephens life at sea and his round the world adventures please type into Google, Yacht Orbit.
Brian is very concerned and alarmed that since the 1970’s Mount Kilimanjaro has become a mass world tourist media attraction with groups who climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds for charities, it would be kinder to give the money directly to charities from the money that would be spent for aircraft flights and hotel costs and general expenses such as passports visas and all the extra expenses that go with a maintain climb. Rubbish scattered across its mountain tops, and slopes, which have loose mountain volcanic stones and rocks that have been dislodged through thousands of boots making the ascent in the dark so as they might be at the summit at dawn.
Then descending, slipping and sliding down the mountain slopes causing the loose scree/talus to enter the saddle between Mt Kilimanjaro and the volcanic plug of Mt Mwenzi as seen on the Home page of this website, Mt Mwenzi is in the background of the picture of Brian completing his 17th Safari. Mt Mwenzi has been painted by Brian with an old Buffalo in the foreground, this painting has been uploaded into the website as a Limited Edition Print on Tuesday the 19th April 2011, Brian has tried to show the painting setting in a clearing, which has been chopped down just below the moorland and the tropical mountain rainforest slopes of Kilimanjaro with a naughty old Buffalo.
Thousands of tourists ascend and descend Mt Kilimanjaro and their human waste excrement/faeces are dumped on the mountain slopes and in the rainforest. Mt Kilimanjaro should be policed by National Park Wildlife Wardens, who should be given legal powers to enforce environmental laws regarding Mount Kilimanjaro and its fragile ecosystems and to protect all wildlife from scavenging dumped rubbish, which can choke and kill local wildlife in Mt Kilimanjaro’s National Park. It is possible that you have seen television footage of Southern Ocean Albatrosses, birds and fish swallowing plastic in the Oceans when they are feeding and mistakenly identifying bright coloured flouting plastic as a meal. Kilimanjaro is heading in the same direction with its discarded rubbish where upon the local game and wildlife will start scavenging for a free meal rather than feeding off their natural food source.
The Mt Kilimanjaro National Park Wildlife Wardens should have powers to check all items that climbers are taking on their climb and put a registered barcode sticker in the name of the climber on every item the climber has taken from base camp. Before setting off for the climb all rucksacks should be weighed and on the return mountain trip to base camp the rucksacks should be reweighed and the loss of weight recorded and checked against the outgoing weight. On the return to base camp the bar-coded items registered to the climber should be checked, this will insure that the climber has not dumped his/her garbage/litter on the Mountain. Failure to account for the empty packaging from the outgoing trip should result in a fine or imprisonment.
FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT FOR EXPEDITION DIGITAL EQUIPMENT
Brian’s Newsletter is a public relations tool for our Website and potential customers. WE ARE RAISING FUNDS THROUGH OUR WEBSITE FOR OUR EXPEDITIONS & FUNDS FOR OUR NEW DIGITAL EXPEDITION EQUIPMENT.
What does Brian Herbert’s audience need to know about services offered from his website? The best way Brian Herbert suggests is that you visit his website, which has his Terms and Conditions for the European Union and the rest of the worldwide community, the information available on the website would be impractical to insert within this Newsletter.
What advances are there for the future?: Brian Herbert' TOUR of Art Exhibitions in 2013-2014 exhibiting his African Wildlife Art in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany and France. United States of America and Canada tours of Exhibitions in 2015 to STOP RHINO & ELEPHANT POACHING.
Who are Brian Herbert’s potential clientèle audience? Wildlife and domestic animal lovers, environmentalist and conversationalist, outdoor and trail hikers, Safari visitors to Africa, people around the world that care about the future of wild animals and those who release them back into the wild or into mega game parks across all continents around the globe, especially those endangered species such as the five rhino species on our planet. Brian Herbert has a life time painting on canvases of Africa’s disappearing wildlife. He has transformed them into Limited Edition Prints, the website has been designed as friendly as possible to navigate around to view the prints and purchase them.
Vehicle Sponsorship Stickers
Brian Herbert has used one of his elephant paintings named ‘Sleeping Giant’ as an advertising tool available as an effective graphic display. The text on the sticker reads Brian Herbert African Wildlife Artist, This Vehicle Sponsors Brian Herbert’s Expeditions Operation Global Warming, www.brianherbert.co.uk. The size of the advert is in metric measurements, 100cm x 50cm, the cost of the vehicle advert sticker is £85.00 including postage and packaging, four internal window stickers, which are 20cm x 10cm will also be enclosed with the large 100cm x 50cm advert. There will be a note within your delivery with instructions of how to set about placing the advert on your vehicle. The print Advert itself is printed without the Copyright Seal, the Website print seal over the prints is there to protect Brian Herbert and his customers. The Sleeping Giant (Elephant print) printed sponsorship advert stickers are printed on Vinyl with a self adhesive rear and they have been laminated to protect it from UV Sunlight Rays.
Window Sponsorship Stickers
Separately there are 20cm x 10cm small printed internal stickers which are for vehicle rear glass windows, there are 3 stickers in each package, at a price of £12.00, which includes postage and packaging. There will be a note within your delivery with instructions of how to set about placing the advert on your vehicle. The Sleeping Giant (Elephant print) printed sponsorship advert stickers are printed on Vinyl with a self adhesive rear and they have been laminated to protect it from UV Sunlight Rays.
Brian Herbert wants to move on to the latest digital field technology that is available in the twenty first century, since his old field technology equipment has been superseded by the digital revolution. He has drawn up a draft shopping list of high tech field gadgetry that will assist his dangerous field research in remote locations and will speed up the ground work, thus reducing the time and finances in one location and frees us up to do many sites to collect data by way of his new found digital technology. All of the digital equipment bought will give us a boost in the field of exploration.
URGENT: LIST OF VITAL DIGITAL FIELD EQUIPMENT PRODUCTS BELOW
- 20 High performance motion-activated infrared digital wildlife cameras with built in digital data recording systems, which we can download on to our laptops. Cost £6,500.00 pounds
- 4 Extra Laptops £2,500.00 pounds
- 4 Hand held Thermal infrared imaging Thermography cameras, detects temperature or patterns in heat changes in objects, these changes allow us to check out and analyse data quickly and accurately for the identification of problems in the field, cost £4,500.00 pounds
- 2 Starlight imaging intensifier cameras. Cost £3.200.00
- 3 Night Vision Intensifiers for photography AstroScopes for Broadcast still images include night vision goggles, pocket Scopes and night vision modules. Cost £5,000
- 2 High performance electrical News gathering cameras having ½” or 2/3” bayonet mounts to deliver very high quality night time video images for professional broadcasting. Cost £9,000
- 3 Germin GPS 60CSX handheld GPS Navigator – battery life 30 hours, enhanced tracking, barometric altimeter reading elevation data. New Maps w/Voice Guided Directions, a wonderful safety aid in the mountains and bush. Cost £600.00
- 6 Mini xAircraft X650 QuadChopper-Outdoor Arial photograph’s, which is a remote controlled four rotor mini helicopter with fitted digital cameras, which relays data to a ground control unit laptop. Ideal piece of kit for sky scoping the all round terrain with, six mini helicopters due to the accident and breakage rate is high, thus we need replacements cost £1,900.00
Step 1: Please read and follow instructions to place your 100cm x 50cm large sponsor advert on your vehicle. Wet the surface of the vehicle location where you will place the advert, this will assist you in moving the advert around having a wet surface does help slid the advert around and finally fix it. (Do not place advert on dry vehicle surface, which will be the advert location).
Step 2: Clean your vehicle insertion location where you are going to place your sponsor advert (do not us detergents) Make sure you have an old credit/debit card or similar smooth plastic card. The card is a vital tool to remove air bubbles under the advert, have the card handy at all times from now on while you are preparing your advert. I will come back to the card later. Now have some masking tape ready to mark the left and right top areas were you wish to place the advert. NOW this is an important notice if you are left handed it is advisable to start your advert on the right and work your way to the left and if you are right handed start from the left going right.
Step 3: Lay the sponsorship advert FACEDOWN on a clean surface next to your vehicle, with the advert facing the table top. Wet the back of the advert with a clean thin film of water, using a spray bottle, then slowly remove the back white sticky rear with the name printed (METAMARK digital vinyl) from your advert leaving the advert still FACEDOWN on the surface, this is a delicate procedure. Do not lift the advert.
Step 4: Now you are looking at the actual adverts sticky rear, this is the area that will be placed on your vehicle. URGENT NOTE before you move the advert for placement on your vehicle while it is still on the table, apply a thin film of water on the rear of the advert exposed and the same to the vehicle surface area where the advert is to be placed.
Step 5: Make sure you have the advert still lying flat and on a table just below the location where it is to be placed. Note: A reminder, have you placed your masking tape over the left and right corners you are aiming to place your advert. Now lift up your advert by whichever side you will start from moving along your preferred left or right side all this time using the your card to remove the air bubbles. WARNING, be gentle now and slowly remove the bubbles. Once you have the advert in place you may find air bubble, a good tip is use a small pin to prick the bubble then us your card to remove any excess air left over. Remember to have a small pin ready to remove bubbles, to save you running back to the house/flat.
There are two separate advert stickers each 20cm x 10cm printed internal stickers, with the words ‘Brian Herbert African Wildlife Artist, THIS VEHICLE SPONSORS Brian Herbert’s Expeditions Operation Global Warming www.brianherbert.co.uk’ which are for vehicle rear glass windows, house windows and shop windows etc. The second advert sticker has the words ‘Brian Herbert African Wildlife Artist, WE SPONSOR Brian Herbert’s Expeditions Operation Global Warming www.brianherbert.co.uk’
Separately there is one advert which is a 20cm x 10cm printed external stickers, with the words ‘Brian Herbert African Wildlife Artist, THIS VEHICLE SPONSORS Brian Herbert’s Expeditions Operation Global Warming www.brianherbert.co.uk’ which are for vehicle bodywork panels and most clean surfaces. There will be a note within your delivery with instructions of how to set about placing the advert on your vehicle. If you mislay/lose your instructions they are on the Brian Herbert’s Expeditions Operation Global Warming website under the Biography section under Instructions for the fitting and placement of your sponsorship advert for customers.
Brian has illustrated in his wildlife paintings their natural behaviour and he has explained in the listings of the paintings/prints below, most animals have adopted their own unique warning system as look outs for predators and the art form of hide and seek to survive.
Wildebeest Wildfire: Wildebeest are a species that have adopted the meaning of herding to the extreme. A species that has been one of Africa’s Masai plains success stories, they communicate with one another like no other Alcelaphinae species on earth in the good times of plenty of lush green grasses and into the dry season, they will move in mass for thousands of miles seeking out feed for their new born calves, which are born on the move. They are not alone on their quest, accompanying them are Zebra who have realised to survive on the open plains, follow the wise ones. During the dry season there are bush fires as shown in Brian’s ‘Wildebeest Wildfire’ print showing the wildebeest has burnt marks on its hide.
Simba - Lionesses: Are the backbone of a prides survival, wellbeing, against Hyenas and African Hunting Dogs packs which try to take the young cubs, the other main threat comes from African Buffalo herds see the Lion as a major killer of their young calves, Lionesses do kill many young and mature buffalo, the reverse comes when the buffalo come across a lion pride with young cubs, buffalo will attack and not wait for the cubs to become mature adults, they will chase and isolate the cubs from their pride and gore the cubs to death. The lioness’ main weakness is they are territorial, yet in a drought they will not move with the rains unlike the wise migratory Wildebeest.
Last Light - Elephant: The last light of the African sun in the evening and the first light of the new dawn in the morning are the main drinking times at rivers and water holes, a lone young elephant bull is quite capable of caring and defending itself. All elephant herds have had a first class education from the Matriarch (Swahili for Matriarch is Mzee mwanamke) of the herd, a wise and trusted senior citizen of the bush/forests she has herself been schooled by her mother and all those that have come before over millions of years, these skills are handed down to each generation. The human species does likewise but with a controlling twist from governments who are a nanny state.
Thompson Gazelle Brothers: Painting where the gazelle sitting and resting on the left is keeping a close look out facing ahead and the middle gazelle is keeping a look out to the rear and the right hand side gazelle is keeping a look out to it right, all round look out and they use the plains hills and grasses as cover. Impala (melampus) Habitat to access areas that have an acacia bush, and the presence of trees that act as an umbrella (shade) from the heat of the African sun. Some acacia could have as much as thirty species, the small leaves are there main source of protein and food. They need bush and long grass as cover to hide their new born fawns from predators and later during their young one’s later stages of growth into young teens. Impala mothers are wonderful parents and risk their own lives to distract predators away from their young fawns by offering themselves to a would-be predator.
Mother and Son - Giraffe: Giraffes are very protective of their young and will kick any predator and sometimes kill a Lion or Hyenas after giving birth while she waits for her new born to stand for the first time, which can take up to five minutes. Giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis) Habitat acacia trees due to their height and will browse acacia bushes and will graze the flowers of the acacia trees and the very small leaves and thorns, all this makes up a protein diet, some acacias have fruits on their trees, which are eaten together with the acacia’s very large seed pods that can measure up to 30cm and more.
Giraffe Sunset Moon: A lone adult Giraffe looking for night time cover in the Sunset Halo and light from the Moon Halo, the acacia short bushes and acacia trees are reflecting the Sun and Moons rays of light. Lone Male Giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis) Habitats during hot days will take cover under trees and they do feed at night, in herds they sit and stand in different directions keeping an eye out for predators, just like the Thompson Gazelle do and many species. One will often come across Giraffes putting their necks around each other this is done to relieve the irritating bites of insects such as the large blood sucking ticks and for affection in court ships.
Cool Black Rhino: Africa can be very warm during the day and cold at night, the Black Rhino (has a pointed lip) loves a cool muddy wallow, the mud dries on its hide, thus protecting its skin, something like sun block which humans have only just discovered, the rhinoceros has done this for millions of years, some humans pay for a face pack to improve their skin complexion. Black Rhinoceros (Hook lipped), their distribution range across Africa has been destroyed by pouching for its Horn; there has been efforts for a programme of translocation from European Zoo’s to Kenya by air. The hook lip of the Black Rhino is an aid to browse, when open they wrap there hook lip around leaves and small twigs and the Square lipped White Rhino, which has a mouth that resembles a vacuum cleaner, a handy creation designed by nature to graze the grasses of the open plains.
Violet’s Waterbuck: As shown in Brian’s painting hidden in thick tree foliage and having water as a protective barrier between itself and predators. This painting is named after my beautiful mother Violet who is in a photograph in this biography in the IN AFRICA section. Waterbuck distribution has been vastly reduced by human activity through farming where as water is used for farm crops, Waterbuck as the name states are a Water animal and with droughts across Africa and force Maguire/Wars across this vast Continent. Once there range was from the Ethiopian/Somalia border, right through to Southern Africa.
Sleeping Giant – Elephant: Elephant herds are generally in family groups and feed for long hours during the day and night possibly up to seventeen hours over a twenty four hour period, the length of time feeding is mainly due to the very low protein diet, which is the acacia bushes and trees in Eastern Africa. There are approximately seventy species of the acacia bushes and trees. In the dry season the acacia vegetation has little or no food value, they get desperate for water so they head to the water holes and rivers around first light.
Forest Suni: A gazelle which is shy and very small only 60cm high and will live in forest and places that offer cover from predators, Brian has tried to illustrate the Suni’s behaviour in his painting, by showing the animal exiting its forest range in the morning notice the Suni’s face and its almost dog like stance frozen to the spot pointing, keeping an eye out in the surrounding bush, it took me many days to create just the facial expression and a day through trial and era to painting the Suni’s eye focused and alert, and its right leg pointing as Bluey my Irish Red Setter would do.
Mt Mwenzi Old Buffalo: Brian has illustrated his old Buffalo in a forest clearing in its own territory, Brian has painted his Buffalo which he has tried to show it has been through the wars fighting to defend the herd and its territory and has scares on his horns and face.
The African buffalo is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and they are am ambush predator waiting in cover especially if wounded, they charge from cover at close quarters as some hunters and people have paid the alter mat price with their lives, Buffalo herds are vacuum cleaners and do feed for long hours day and night, imaging eating so much dried up vegetation, now they are desperate for water so they head to the water holes and rivers around first light. The trick is not to go out two hours before sunset or sunrise unless you are in a protected vehicle, if you are between the water and their approach to that water, you have been warmed, all animals are very thirty by dawn. Hippopotamus are the major killers of humans due to water is their home range sanctuary, they come out of the water at night to feed and spend all day in water some times. If you are attacked and need medical assistance that’s if you survive, make sure the emergency services can reach you before the sunlight fades in the sky, and they and you can get back safe at least two to three hours before dark.
Bush Fire – Zebra: Fires are common in the dry season across Africa, Brian has shown a Zebra which he has illustrated as been through a Bush Fire and the animal has its eyelashes burnt and its appearance looked hellish.
Take note of the burnt bushes in the background. After bush fires new grass stems start growing within a week. Common Zebra (Equus Burchilli) there height is about 150cm at the shoulder, they have thick strips to their back/rump hindquarters, with a small mane, there are two distant sub species of Common Zebra, Burchilli Zebra in East Africa, the Northern Kenya sup species has darker strips and the southern sub species has more of a very dark greyish strip pattern.
Both sub species used to be wide spread across southern Somalia and southern Ethiopia and their southern range once extended right up to the Zambezi River, large African rivers are sometimes a barrier, in drought conditions rivers are easily crossed, zebra are accomplished swimmers. Common Zebra and Burchilli Zebra went further south and most likely they were victims of the Gun. In the 21st Century there range is mainly in Kenya and Tanzania.
Gerenuk Sunset: Showing a Gerenuk reaching on its hind legs and with its long neck the foliage above the ground level, smaller gazelle species feed off the lower stems of the acacia bushes and small trees; the Gerenuk has four Marabou Storks for company.Gerenuk (Litocrannius walleri) there height is about 95cm at the shoulder, as seen in the small insert picture, with a very long neck which is elongated with lovely long legs to match.
Their horns are only within the males. Habitats that I have seen are on the road from the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro to the Amboseli Game Park, the bush is quite dry with plenty of acacia bushes and trees that are full of protein within the small leaves. There are small streams that originate in the Kilimanjaro forest.
There for water is available when it eventually runs down Kilimanjaro slopes. There general habitat is north eastern Tanzania and Kenya’s eastern areas, their home range altitude can vary between the higher coastal region up to 1,400 meters. The males are quite often seen alone browsing and can reach up higher to leaves that the small antelope cannot reach by standing on their hind legs as seen in the Gerenuk Sunset Painting/Print.
Covent Garden, London: Covent Garden London: The name came from Westminster Abbey (where William and Kate Middleton married), the area was once a fruit orchard, the name given to the area was called (Garden of the Abbey and Convent), now a twenty first century tourist destination with pubs, shops, cafes and the National Opera House. The cobble stones area as seen in the foreground of the painting is where street artist perform, they also perform around the whole of the Covent Garden concourse area. I have fond memories of Covent Garden while painting on location. I thought I would not be able to complete the canvas due to the mass of tourists that surrounded me while I painted. Painting by myself is to celebrate Elaine my second daughter’s birth. We lived in London.
Little Venice, London: Near Paddington Station and is on the junction of the Regents Canal and the Grand Union Canal. There are canal boat trips to London Zoo through a long canal tunnel approaching the bird aviary beside the zoo. This beautiful painting was painted on the canal bridge overlooking the scene. During the days on location I experienced a tranquil setting with very little tourist on site. The canal boat owners who live aboard and those that use their boats part time on the canals have a wonderful lifestyle. The Little Venice canvas and the lovely colours of the boats and canal scenery are in an idyllic setting. The painting does not need words. Painting by myself is to celebrate Eleanor my first born daughter’s birth in London.
Paradise: This canvas is set in a colourful, beautiful, calm and tranquil setting. Within the foliage it would not warrant an explanation to describe the beauty of this canvas and paint coming together to transform a blank canvas. The whole concept of the painting is that I wanted each individual to let their imagination have the pleasure to be their own. Painting by myself is to celebrate James my third born child.
This article is in memory of my late brother Michael Herbert. He was killed tragically in the African bush in 1994 while out collecting bush plant seedlings for his Bonsai bush and tree desertification project experiments.
The Bonsai miniature trees and bushes would be relocated to a dryer region. Being a small plant it would only use a minimum amount of rainfall and less soil moisture content to survive and flourish in a harsh rugged environment.
Michael loved the bush and was performing experiments with wild bush varieties of trees and small harder durable species of seedlings. I mentioned to Michael a project I had been looking into in South America concerning the Amazonian rainforest in Guyana and a desertification protect to assist replanting to hold back the onslaught of the sand dunes encroachment southwards across the southern Sahara of Africa above the Equator.
I Brian Herbert attended the Royal Geographic Society London Lecture by the Kenyan Dr Richard Leakey (paleoanthropologist) on the 13th February 1996. His lecture was entitled 'The Sixth Extinction'. Simon Combes did the introduction to Dr Richard Leakey’s lecture. Simon Combes attended the Duke of York in Karen Nairobi in Kenya, the same high school as my brother Michael Herbert who was killed in Africa as well. Simon Combes was a British wildlife artist and was gored to death by an African buffalo in the Great Rift Valley at Lord Delemere’s estate not far from Brian’s old home in Nakuru. Brian’s old school was named after Lord Delemere in Nairobi.
The family will miss Michael, his ashes have been laid to rest in the bush where elephants and wildlife are present, a metal engraved plaque inscription reads on a tree trunk in Swahili ‘Simama angalia kilama hali’ in English ‘Stop look around everywhere’. Michael would stop in the bush and take in all the beautiful scenery he could see for miles around, rather than just walk or drive by, he was very passionate and loved life and would travel around Africa. He appeared on TV playing his guitar and singing he was a gifted musician.
I am Brian Herbert a wildlife artist who passionately loves our home and our planet. I am making a plea to all car drivers and lorry/truckers to reduce their speed and it will reduce the deaths of hundreds of thousands of so many species each day on roads across our home range the planet. The throwing away of food and there containers out of car windows does kill many species due to they do scavenge on the open roads and are killed while feeding, so be good and take your trash home. Fast food outlets should have advertising on their packaging warming drivers.
Driving in Africa you can hit a Rhino, Buffalo, even an Elephant especially on dusty bush roads during daylight hours where visibility is poor after oncoming vehicles throw up their dust. When night time driving, if you see dust in your headlights, this is a warning that an elephant is having a dust bath in the road, slow down and stop. By reducing your speed you save animal and human lives, the global fuel prices for vehicles has risen, drive slower and save your fuel bills and the planet. The cost to councils removing trash and dead animals from roads runs into millions each day across the planet, the cash wasted could create a wildlife park each day and jobs for wildlife wardens and their families, thus protecting wildlife and would put a halt to man invading their space/habitats.
The contents within this Biography and the Website are not to be copied. The International copyright law – The Berne Convention of the Paris Act 1971. Reserved by the International © mark for the Copyright owner Brian Herbert for his Artistic works, no part of this publication may be reproduced by any process. © Copyright 2012
IN RECOGNITION OF JAMES MY SON’S HARD WORK
In recognition of my youngest child James Herbert who has given up so much of his time while studying for his academic degree, his commitment helping out his father, and the setting up and administration of my website.
NOTICE OF LIMITED EDITION PRINT PRICE INCREASES
On the 1st of January every year Limited Edition, Framed Limited Edition and Unlimited prints increase by 2%. While the sales of the Limited Edition, Framed Limited Edition and Unlimited Prints reduce in numbers so the price of the prints increases over time.
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